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London. Train or Plane? Gordo Decides

It’s been a while since Gordo went to London. The trains were so awful that he used to fly, it was quicker. What’s changed?

Written by . Published on July 25th 2006.


London. Train or Plane? Gordo Decides

Gordo took a trip to London last month to visit the Silver Clef Music Awards, a lunch held at the Hilton Hotel on Park lane. It has been some time since he has ventured down there. The last time Gordo travelled by train was actually five years ago. The rail network was grim, and it took five hours. From that point on Gordo decided it was better to fly, particularly if you took the express train from Heathrow into Paddington.

However, this time Gordo decided that he would try the Virgin service having bumped into his old friend Steve Robinson, husband of the delicious Julie Calcutt. Steve is now a gaffer at Virgin trains and was doing a good job of brainwashing Gordo into giving them a try.

You can’t really wax lyrical about train journeys these days unless you’re David Lloyd and his very fit missus Jackie, who had just travelled on the Orient Express coming back from Venice. Jackie was certainly waxing lyrical about that one over dinner at The Establishment a couple of weeks ago. Gordo was dead jealous.

Concentrate. The main question for Virgin is, does it work? Gordo decided to try it. Travelling first class on the day, he noticed the following. Firstly, they leave every half hour, and shortly will be leaving every twenty minutes. If you book via the internet in advance you can get first class return tickets for less than sixty quid. The journey takes just 2 hours and 6 minutes, you will find yourself in great comfort. The food is free and pretty good as it happens. The scrambled eggs were actually better than the ones Gordo had in a very good Manchester hotel last weekend.

Other stuff that has changed are the toilets, very spacious, big enough to get changed in. You can charge your phone or your laptop. If you want some peace and quiet they have a carriage where mobiles are banned.

Ok, it’s not The Orient Express, but Gordo thinks the train now beats the plane hands down. It takes less time, it’s a good deal less stressful and it’s really rather pleasant. The Pendolino trains are very comfortable and most important for all of us is the fact they are on time.

If you fancy taking a day off to visit London, Gordo has just spotted tickets for £12.50 on the website, sounds like a good way to get the kids down there for a treat.

The website is http://www.virgintrains.co.uk and is pretty useful. You can Check times, prices and book.

Happy Trails

Gordo.
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